Gown Guide

You just got engaged, now you want to run to the Kleinfeld. If so, you are just like me. Maybe you are the fiancé who is overwhelmed with the idea of getting a dress. I understand, so many shapes, cuts, and fabrics. Don’t worry; overwhelmed bride or overly eager bride, I got you covered. The recent article from Brides magazine inspired this post. If only this was available when I started dress shopping… This article broke down with pictures, what styles and cuts are called. Why do I love this? The first minute of dress shopping will clear this up completely. The sales associate will bombard you with 20 questions in dress talk. Do you like a-line or mermaid? Are you interested in Lazaro or Penina? Want a sweetheart or illusion? Do you like organza or chiffon? These multiple questions can make your head spin. Soon you’ll be wishing for a wedding dress glossary! Don’t you worry we will get you dress savvy by the end of this article!
So let’s break it down.

When you go dress shopping you may already have a basic idea of your dream dress or maybe not. But how do you express this? There are 6 common dress silhouettes; fit-n-flare, ball gown, drop waist, sheath, A-line, and mermaid. You may have heard these terms before but what do they mean?

Fit-n-flare also know as the trumpet is fitted to the mid-thigh or closer to the knee then flaring out. This style is great to show off curves! This dress silhouette is similar to the mermaid style but can be slightly easier to move around in.

Mermaid is all about the dramatics! It hugs those luscious curves and flares out BELOW the knee. If you got curves and want to show off that hour glass figure this is the way to go! But watch out, sitting and walking can be difficult and constricting. Beauty is worth it! #thestruggle

Sheath is a beautiful silhouette for a lean and fit shopper. This dress cut is fitted at the bodice but does not fare! This has a straight skirt that hugs the figure. Imagine a straight line, it’s gorgeous in its simplicity.

Ball gown is a classic look that has become famous with the countless Cinderella movies. Also known as a cupcake dress, this silhouette features a fitted bodice and a full skirt. The fullness depends on the buyer. This fairytale dress works for most body types but can engulf a smaller petite frame.

Drop Waist is very similar to the ball gown silhouette EXCEPT it is fitted to the waist and the full skirt starts at this point. You may say, “isn’t this the fit n flare?” No, key words are ‘waist and a full skirt’. The skirts would be more voluptuous and it is fitted until the waist, not mid thigh. The unique thing with drop waist is that you can mix this silhouette with others. What do I mean? You can have an A-line with a drop waist or ball gown with a drop waist. What are the differences? Ball gown describes a fuller skirt but the drop waist changes the bodice of a ball gown to one that is a fitted top that reaches the waist. What about A-line lets divine into that!

A-line can be truly seen in the shape of the dress. From afar it truly resembles the strait lines of an upper case A. Great for hiding a heavier lower body shape! This fitted bodice gently flows out in a gradual line. This upside down vase shape can have a drop waist with skirts that would not be as full as a ball gown, drop waist.

More of a visual person? Not a problem, here are the links to the Brides magazine article that inspired me! Also I’ve launched a Pinterest account called TWOCENTSBRIDAL. I have a board of diagrams to for you to freshen up on before you find the dress of your dreams! Let me know what you think. I love to hear from you!


Now that we have the dress silhouette what about the neckline? There are many types like a sweetheart, which looks like a heart shape or straight across which is exactly what it sounds like. For neckline, I find it’s not good to have a solid idea of what you want. Many have found they love a straight across but they go into the bridal shop, try it on and it doesn’t look good on them. Play around with different neckline. They can make or break a dress! I have attached another link to a diagram of necklines so you’ll be prepared for your appointment. This link is from Amanda Burton’s blog check it out!


Finally enjoy this moment! Getting a dress will be the most fun if you let it! The sales associate will guide you into a dress you love. Even if you don’t have the technical terms, a simple description of what you like and how you want to feel on your big day will be enough! Caution… Be careful about who and how many people you bring with you dress shopping. Also don’t get too focused on the designer names. You might be surprised by what you end up loving! This experience should be all about you, and how you feel. Don’t forget it!

Thank you for reading. Please follow my blog and find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest at TWOCENTSBRIDAL


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